We are 8 countries down, 20 to go, which brings us to Finland! Home of the Moomins, Nokia and baby boxes, it is one of the least corrupt countries in Europe, and has one of the most extensive welfare systems.
Most of my Scandinavian baking seems to be condensed into a few weeks altogether (I have to wait until next year to get to Sweden, my fave), but it’s perfect for this time of year because it’s summer, and many of the recipes I’ve chosen here have wonderful summer fruits in. This week is mainly blueberries, but with some strawberries and raspberries thrown in, because I had them around, and I was avoiding buying more because of Plastic Free July and the seemingly impossible task of finding berries not in plastic punnets.
There seem to be several variations on mustikkapiirakka, it is essentially blueberry pie, although this one is more like galette. It is so full as well, like you could probably get away with putting less fruit in (not too much though!). Mine overflowed somewhat, but left us with a tiny but delicious quantity of blueberry jam on the tray, so that was good. I then tried to transport it to my friends’ house, only to find that it wouldn’t fit in any of the tins I own, so I just had to take half of it. This is something to bake when you have a bunch of people round, and it tastes amazing when it’s still warm.
This post is part of a series called ‘Brexit Baking’, where I bake my way around all 28 EU Member States. You can read more about it here.
Mustikkapiirakka (from Scandilicious – Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking by Signe Johansen)
25g fresh yeast (or 7g fast action yeast)
375ml lukewarm whole milk
50g melted butter, slightly cooled
500g spelt or plain flour
1 tsp ground cardamom
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
800g fresh/frozen blueberries
150g caster sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp vanilla extract
juice of 1 lemon
1 egg (for glaze)
- Dissolve the yeast in milk in a bowl. Add the melted butter and stir through. Sift the flour, cardamom, sugar and salt together in a large bowl and then stir the milk mixture and egg in with a large spoon until you get a sticky dough
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5 mins until it starts to feel smooth and elastic. Put the kneaded dough back in the mixing bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and put in a warm place to rise. Leave for 1-1.5 hours until it doubles in size.
- Tip the dough onto a floured work surface and punch once or twice to knock it back. Place on a floured baking tray – as a large ball of dough, and cover with a damp tea towel to prove and double in size again (20-30 mins)
- Roll the dough to form a round base for the pie, approx. 2.5cm thick. Carefully tip the berry mix into the middle of the pie base, leaving 5cm of dough free around the edge of the berries. Fold the dough in and over so it slightly covers the berries. Brush the edges with egg.
- Bake on the upper-middle shelf of the oven at 200C for 15 mins, then turn the heat down to 180C and cook for a further 15 mins. By this time the dough should be golden brown and feel firm to the touch, and the blueberries will be a deep inky black colour.
- Good whilst warm. Wrap in foil or keep in an airtight container and it will keep for a day or two, or freeze and reheat in the oven before serving.